WASHINGTON—Shipments of passenger tires to the U.S. replacement market slipped 1 percent in October 1998, compared with the year-earlier month, but remained 2.6-percent ahead of 1997 levels through the first 10 months of the year, according to Rubber Manufacturers Association data. Aftermarket shipments of light and medium/wide-base truck tires grew for the month, rising 3.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. Ten-month totals surpassed 1997 levels by 6.1 percent and 4.1 percent.
The only category to experience a significant downturn was heavy truck tires, where replacement shipments fell 7.3 percent for October and 5.1 percent for the 10 months.
North of the border, the Rubber Association of Canada reported that aftermarket shipments of passenger tires by its members edged up less than 1 percent in October and were 2.8-percent ahead of 1997 for the year to date. Truck and bus tire shipments jumped 10 percent for the month and 6.9 percent for the 10 months.